$4.99 excelvan mic blind test

edited July 2018 in Off-topic

So i picked up one of these due to the other thread, can’t pass up stupid deals. Was testing mics and cables etc for a location shoot i’m doing this weekend (folky happy uke song with a friend) and since i had everything out i played the same pattern into each of my mics, same distance, same pattern, no fx, just normalized. Wanted to hear which mic should be used for the Uke.

If anybody is game i have attached the file below.

What order do you think they are in and which one sounds best on the uke?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g8ge11op1gs2a90/mic uke test.wav?dl=0

Mics used are: audix dynamic, excelvan bm-800 and rode nt-1000

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Comments

  • edited July 2018

    Hey There.

    1 - Has high end and a bit tinny but initially I like it most.
    2- No high end and I liked the least.
    3- high and low end maybe the one i would like more over time and maybe the most expensive.

  • edited July 2018

    I would go with 3. But to be fair they all do the job pretty well. Vocals might be more of a test though.

    EDIT: It's worth bearing in mind though, that with expensive mics, a lot of what you are paying for is the robustness & build quality, that can withstand heavy use over a number of years. The $4.99 is probably fine if you set it up for podcasting or something similar, & just leave it set up permanently. Probably wouldn't last long in a busy studio......

  • The first one was the tinniest and my guess is that one is the Excelvan. The 3rd one was the fullest and most detailed - I liked that one the best.

  • Terrible across the board. They all sound like banjos.

  • @Iso said:
    I would go with 3. But to be fair they all do the job pretty well. Vocals might be more of a test though.

    EDIT: It's worth bearing in mind though, that with expensive mics, a lot of what you are paying for is the robustness & build quality, that can withstand heavy use over a number of years. The $4.99 is probably fine if you set it up for podcasting or something similar, & just leave it set up permanently. Probably wouldn't last long in a busy studio......

    The moment you said robust ‘shure sm58’ came to mind and just a plug for shure... their in-ears headphones last FOREVER!

    Number 2 was a bit naff.

  • @TrevorLlewellyn said:

    @Iso said:
    I would go with 3. But to be fair they all do the job pretty well. Vocals might be more of a test though.

    EDIT: It's worth bearing in mind though, that with expensive mics, a lot of what you are paying for is the robustness & build quality, that can withstand heavy use over a number of years. The $4.99 is probably fine if you set it up for podcasting or something similar, & just leave it set up permanently. Probably wouldn't last long in a busy studio......

    The moment you said robust ‘shure sm58’ came to mind and just a plug for shure... their in-ears headphones last FOREVER!

    Number 2 was a bit naff.

    Agreed on No. 2.

  • I liked no. 3 the best. I'm guessing no. 2 was the dynamic mic, it seemed to be more compressed than the other two. Wasn't keen on no.1 but that might not mean anything as I'm not a fan of the Rode NT1!

  • edited July 2018

    The Sm58 & the Sm57 are pretty indestructible, and relatively cheap too.......

  • 1 excelvan #2 Audix #3 Rode. #3 sounded nicest to me.

  • Great comments. I’ll let it run a little and post the mic order later.

    Pretty interesting, i’ve sent it to a few friends and it’s great how different all responses are. I could have been more clinical as there could be slight positioning differences, etc but it’s pretty close.

  • No.3 had a clearer high end but I think all three would do the job.

  • Just listening on iPhone in a garden, no 1 leapt out as being most lively, could have been the playing though. Probably the one I would use. Could use the others if you wanted the uke to sit a bit lower against a vocal.

  • I would go with No. 3

  • Ok so i guess that’s enough of that.

    1. Is the bm-800, way hotter and brighter and less directional than the others. Easily picked up my forearm sliding on the wood if i got careless. So for an outside recording it would be the worst.
    2. Is the rode, i was surprised that it sounds the worst to me too, it has always been great on vocals (myself and a wide range of female singers i have recorded in the 18 years i have had it. Warm and never shrill, which i guess doesn’t translate to such a limited range instrument as the uke.
    3. The audix. Again i guess this is due to not needing a wide frequency range. It is pretty much the same eq slope as a shure sm-57. Would have thought that either one of the others would be better but thankfully this one seems to be the ticket because it’s super directional and has it’s pop screen top (like a 58).
  • Interesting results - thanks for posting them. I think the takeaway from the test is that the bm-800 performs as expected, and that the audix is a bit of a gem!

  • @vpich said:
    Ok so i guess that’s enough of that.

    1. Is the bm-800, way hotter and brighter and less directional than the others. Easily picked up my forearm sliding on the wood if i got careless. So for an outside recording it would be the worst.
    2. Is the rode, i was surprised that it sounds the worst to me too, it has always been great on vocals (myself and a wide range of female singers i have recorded in the 18 years i have had it. Warm and never shrill, which i guess doesn’t translate to such a limited range instrument as the uke.
    3. The audix. Again i guess this is due to not needing a wide frequency range. It is pretty much the same eq slope as a shure sm-57. Would have thought that either one of the others would be better but thankfully this one seems to be the ticket because it’s super directional and has it’s pop screen top (like a 58).

    That was fun 🙂

  • edited July 2018

    I'm not an Uke fan at all, but number 3 turned it into an instrument... :+1:
    (might have said the same about banjos a couple if years ago, though) o:)
    I would have expected such result from a classic Sennheiser or AKG, respect to Audix.
    What preamp/interface was used ?

  • @Telefunky said:
    I'm not an Uke fan at all, but number 3 turned it into an instrument... :+1:
    (might have said the same about banjos a couple if years ago, though) o:)
    I would have expected such result from a classic Sennheiser or AKG, respect to Audix.
    What preamp/interface was used ?

    Just straight into my zoom u-24.

    And yeah uke is fun but an acquired taste. Don’t use it much but it is fun to pick up now and then.

  • @ExAsperis99 said:
    Terrible across the board. They all sound like banjos.

    I was wondering why nobody thought this was as hilarious as I did. Then I realized that I wrote "banjos" rather than "ukuleles" — which sounds like a real dickish thing to say! They don't sound like banjos, they sound like ukuleles! The joke was that ukuleles sound inherently bad, and .... ugh, if you have to explain a joke.
    Hangs head, backs away from microphone, leaves stage....

  • edited July 2018

    which makes it even more remarkable - the last thing I'd expect from a Zoom preamp stage is good performance on dynamic microphones.
    (admittedly I never bought one myself but guessed from other's recordings)
    How natural is the record in your ears ?

  • @ExAsperis99 said:

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    Terrible across the board. They all sound like banjos.

    I was wondering why nobody thought this was as hilarious as I did. Then I realized that I wrote "banjos" rather than "ukuleles" — which sounds like a real dickish thing to say! They don't sound like banjos, they sound like ukuleles! The joke was that ukuleles sound inherently bad, and .... ugh, if you have to explain a joke.
    Hangs head, backs away from microphone, leaves stage....

    I thought it was funny, just didn’t say so. If the forums had a suitable Like/Laugh etc icon, I’d have used it, if that is any comfort.

  • @ExAsperis99 said:

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    Terrible across the board. They all sound like banjos.

    I was wondering why nobody thought this was as hilarious as I did. Then I realized that I wrote "banjos" rather than "ukuleles" — which sounds like a real dickish thing to say! They don't sound like banjos, they sound like ukuleles! The joke was that ukuleles sound inherently bad, and .... ugh, if you have to explain a joke.
    Hangs head, backs away from microphone, leaves stage....

    Chin up buddy. I thought it was funny either way, comparing to a banjo as well as compared.

    Sucks that the like button was removed.

  • I bought 2 of them when the deal was posted, the xlr to 1/8 cable was worth more than 4.60. I brought both excelvan mics to our week-long recording session as a joke, but actually it is awesome on kick drum if you want a little distortion and some really deep lows. It's working in conjunction with a sennheiser kick mic and has really added a lot. No joke.

  • @Telefunky said:
    which makes it even more remarkable - the last thing I'd expect from a Zoom preamp stage is good performance on dynamic microphones.
    (admittedly I never bought one myself but guessed from other's recordings)
    How natural is the record in your ears ?

    Pretty natural. And yeah less juice to the audix, which was solved normalizing. But i like the zoom.

  • I'd guess:

    1. rode nt-1000
    2. audix dynamic
    3. excelvan bm-800

    I prefer #1 since it seems to capture the room's reverb a bit. Hope I'm wrong. I also bought the excelvan bm-800 but haven't tested it yet.

    The Audix should work best for live vocals which reject reverberations that could lead to feedback, right? I'm hoping the Audix is #1 'cause my 40 year old Shure SM58 vocal died.

  • @ExAsperis99 said:

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    Terrible across the board. They all sound like banjos.

    I was wondering why nobody thought this was as hilarious as I did. Then I realized that I wrote "banjos" rather than "ukuleles" — which sounds like a real dickish thing to say! They don't sound like banjos, they sound like ukuleles! The joke was that ukuleles sound inherently bad, and .... ugh, if you have to explain a joke.
    Hangs head, backs away from microphone, leaves stage....

    I don't know, I love the sound of my uke's. This is my all solid wood Pono. It's a beaut!

  • edited July 2018

    I think this test confirms that the $4.60 deal was due to the addition of a mini-plug Mic cable in the box and not a XLR or TRS connector-ed cable when the Mic requires phantom power to work. Direct into an iphone just won't work. So, what's the budget to add the required phantom power? I used to have a gadget that used a battery to do the job. Maybe that with the provided cable and an XLR-XLR cable would get it done. A Pre-amp was used here so maybe that's needed to boost the signal before the iPad
    to get decent results. More tests needed to give advice on this.

    It's cheaper to dump the product below cost and push the products that make a profit and don't create returns or support headaches. I'm glad bought one. It should match well with my other 2 similar mic's purchased for $200 (Chinese) and $450 used (An American Make). Even at $20 these mic's look like good budget products for recording in a home studio for anyone on a budget.

  • I wouldn’t listen to anything with ukulele in it even if you paid me $4.60.

  • @Lady_App_titude said:
    I wouldn’t listen to anything with ukulele in it even if you paid me $4.60.

    (I do get the joke but I want to play too).

    Can we make money just listening to one? You can buy a nice App for $4.60.

    When I moved out of my parent's house I had to take my cheap student's accordion with me to please my mother since she wanted me to learn it and I never did. I had it in my car and left it unlocked. I went into a store fo just 5 minutes and sure enough when I came out... there were 2 student accordions in my back seat.

  • @McDtracy said:

    @Lady_App_titude said:
    I wouldn’t listen to anything with ukulele in it even if you paid me $4.60.

    (I do get the joke but I want to play too).

    Can we make money just listening to one? You can buy a nice App for $4.60.

    When I moved out of my parent's house I had to take my cheap student's accordion with me to please my mother since she wanted me to learn it and I never did. I had it in my car and left it unlocked. I went into a store fo just 5 minutes and sure enough when I came out... there were 2 student accordions in my back seat.

    Haha! :D

    Accordions were always pretty annoying. But there was nothing particularly wrong with the ukulele — until it became the feel-good, hipster cliche from HELL featured in every commercial. Now — along with didgeridoo, and (oh gawd help us) the cajon, the epitome of uncoolness for the foreseeable future. And we can’t even blame this one on Kenny G.

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